As eight cases of Monkeypx virus have been reported in India so far, vaccine maker Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday met Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and said that the preparations for the vaccine are being done.
Poonawalla, the CEO of Serum Institue Of India (SII), after his meeting, said, "My meeting went well like always. All preparations for the vaccine are being done."
"We are researching on the vaccine for Monkeypox and if there's a need for it," Poonawalla added.
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Notably, the Serum Institute manufacturers Covishield, the Indian Covid vaccine.
A few weeks ago, Poonawalla said that he is exploring the possibility of importing smallpox vaccine in bulk "in an emergency situation."
"SII is in talks with Novovax to develop a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine for monkeypox," Adar Poonawalla told NDTV.
"We are talking to Novovax. We really need to see whether there will be a lot of demand or whether in three to four months it fizzles out," the SII chief added.
Further he said that it was "not a mystery" that monkeypox cases were coming up. "It has been around for decades," he said. The only difference was that the global health system was more trained and equipped to detect and tackle infectious diseases.
Meanwhile, a 35-year-old man of African origin with no recent history of foreign travel has tested positive for the virus in Delhi. The man was admitted to the Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital on Monday.
The first monkeypox patient of the national capital was discharged on Monday night.